Inter-Departmental Correspondence



February 4, 2008


February 12, 2008







Honorable Board of Supervisors


Supervisors Rich Gordon


Revision of the San Mateo County Ordinance Code related to the naming of County facilities, for the purposes of clarifying both criteria and procedure for said recognition.



Adopt An Ordinance Revising Chapter 2.52 of the San Mateo County Ordinance Code Regarding the Process for Facility Naming in San Mateo County



Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government.

Goal(s): 20. Government decisions are based on careful consideration of future impact, rather than temporary relief or immediate gain.



On May 2, 2006, the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance no. 04306, establishing a process for naming facilities in San Mateo County in honor of individuals who have made significant contributions in the County.

After this ordinance went into effect, several inquiries were made regarding the naming of facilities. It soon became clear that the ordinance, which had been intentionally drafted in broad terms to address all types of circumstances that might merit recognition, was too vague. With the assistance of County Counsel, several changes have been drafted to clarify both the criteria and procedure for recognition.



The key changes are:

1) The addition to Chapter 2.52.010 (Purpose) of a second paragraph, to read:

    “It is the intent of the Board that the naming of a County facility only occurs in exceptional circumstances, taking into account the time period over which any contribution is made, the number of people affected by the contribution, and the extent to which the County’s population has been affected to the better by the actions of the individual proposed for recognition.”

The intent of this language is to clarify the conditions of consideration of an individual for the honor of naming a County facility after him/her.

2) Revising Chapter 2.52.030 (Nominations), to read:

    “Nominations for recognition by the naming of a facility may be made by any member of the Board of Supervisors by bringing the nomination directly to the Board, or by referring the nomination to the County Manager. The County Manager shall conduct such review as the County Manager deems necessary, including, but not limited to, the referral of the application to a review panel; and shall make a recommendation to the Board after any required waiting period. Any such recommendation shall be to approve the application to name the requested facility, to deny the application, or to honor the individual in some other way.”

The intent of this language is to clarify the process of nominating an individual for the honor of naming a County facility after him/her and to clarify the process of reviewing nominations.

3) Adding to the end Chapter 2.52.040 (Criteria), the following language:

    “Particular consideration should be given to the following:

    a. The period of time over which the individual made a significant contribution.

    b. The number of people that were directly or indirectly impacted by the contribution.

    c. The extent to which the actions of the individual bettered the lives of those impacted by the contribution.

    Recognition by naming shall be limited to the naming of a single facility, except in those extraordinary circumstances, in which case such recognition may be extended to a collection of facilities.”

The intent of this language is to clarify the criteria for the County Manager to take into consideration before making a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors regarding the naming a County facility after a nominee.

4) Adding the following language to Chapter 2.52.050 (Eligibility):

    a. “a County” between “No person serving in” and “elected office”,


    b. “, including a County elected official or a County employee,” between “A nomination of a deceased individual” and “ may be considered by the Board”.

The intent of this language is to clarify that the one-year waiting period after end of service, before someone is eligible for nomination, applies only to former County elected officials and County employees; and that a one-year waiting period also applies to all individuals, County employee or not, following that individuals death.